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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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Following from KHOJ’s commitment to community-based art projects, Hip Hop has established itself as an art form that the youth are excited to engage with. This has led to the formation of KHOJ’s youth-based initiative called the Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre. Since October 2010, classes have been underway in collaboration with Hip Hop artist HeRa who’s also the founder of TinyDrops.

Collaborating with HeRa, KHOJ has cultivated a space for the youth in the neighborhood to practice, learn and come together through Hip Hop, dance and culture. Their participation in this programme not only keeps them away from the negative influences found on the street, but is also crucial to their personal development during their formative years of learning. The Hip Hop programme has also been seen as a vehicle to harness their creative energy, rebuild their self-confidence, develop a sense of identity and, in addition, provide them with a fun, exciting exercise.

Hip Hop is a creative outlet that has always helped youngsters find joy and express themselves creatively. The Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre attracts around 20-30 talented youth, aged 8-18 from Khirkee, Hauz Rani as well as from adjacent neighbourhoods of Panchsheel Vihar, Malviya Nagar and Chirag Dilli. Many were already break dancing before coming to the centre, taking cues primarily from television and internet videos.

The Khirkee Hip-Hop Community Centre offers a base from which youth can cultivate a solid foundation of the art form and develop an identity to present within the larger hip hop dance scene in Delhi and beyond. The groups have won the hearts of the community and gathered vast appreciation during the Khirkee Park Jam, held at the Khirkee Village Park on the 15th May 2011, where they showcased their talents alongside grafitti artists and international DJs.

Over the past few months, the young B-Boys (A B-boy or Break-Boy is a male dancer who practices breaking or the acrobatic Hip Hop dance style, commonly known as “breakdancing”) of Khirkee have received wide press and media coverage, having been featured extensively in newspapers, magazine articles, and photo-essays. Alongside this they have participated in several Hip Hop jams and battles organised by various groups both within and outside the city of Delhi and have featured in music videos and documentaries on the evolving Hip Hop scene in Delhi and India.

Press Coverage:

I own the street, I am a B-Boy ~ Indian Express, September 2011
We’ll break your streets ~ Tehelka, September 2011